2010/1/20 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>:

>> What do you think could happen if there were 100 copies of you running
>> in parallel and 90 were terminated? If you think you would definitely
>> continue living as one of the 10 remaining copies then to be
>> consistent you have to accept QTI. If you think there is a chance that
>> you might die I find it difficult to understand how this could be
>> reconciled with any consistent theory of personal identity.
> It's a straightforward consequence of a materialist theory of personal
> identity.  Whether you survive or not depends on which body you are and
> whether it died.

The body is gradually replaced in the course of normal metabolism so
that over a period of months, the original has completely
disintegrated and what remains is a near copy. When I point this out
to people who believe the materialist theory you describe no-one ever
says, OK, so people only live a few months. Why not? Because it's
silly; they know they didn't die a few months ago, because here they
are alive today, and no new information about what happened to their
body in the interim will convince them otherwise. Thus, while they
espouse a materialist theory, their *real* theory of personal identity
is psychological, and ad hoc adjustments are made to the materialist
theory (eg. it doesn't matter if your body is gradually replaced) so
that it is consistent with the psychological one.

Stathis Papaioannou

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